Applied Psychology & Player Development

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1 Applied Psychology & Player Development Sari Rose Assistant Technical Director of Coaching and Player Development North Carolina Youth Soccer Association

2 Questions to Consider What is the purpose of youth soccer? Why are you coaching youth soccer? Why are the kids playing youth soccer?

3 What is the purpose of youth Skill Development soccer? Character Development Social Development Passion for the Game

4 Why are you coaching youth soccer? Child is playing Love of the game Enjoy working with children Coaches behavior has an incredible impact on players performance and experience

5 Why are the kids playing youth soccer? What kids say about sports. Have fun Get exercise/stay in shape Improve/Learn new skills Do something I am good at Excitement of competition Be a part of a team Ewing & Seefeldt (1989)

6 Making Connections Purpose of Youth Soccer Why kids play? Why you coach?

7 Considerations Do we have realistic goals for our players? Does our philosophy reflect their age and their physical and psychological maturity?

8 Developmental Changes to Consider Physical Changes Motor Skill Development Cognitive Development Psychosocial Development How will these changes affect your coaching?

9 Physical Changes (Pre-puberty) Differences in skeletal size may vary An 8 year old may have the skeletal size ranging from an average 5-11 year old

10 Physical Changes (Pre-puberty) Only minor changes in fitness through training No muscle fiber differentiation Best athletes = best sprinters = best distance runners No difference in males and females Predictability of sport success is nearly impossible

11 Physical Changes (Pre-puberty) Implications for Coaches Recognize mismatches in size Focus on technical exercises in practice and not fitness or strength building Recognize physically what kids can do Don t judge a book by its cover

12 Physical Changes (adolescence +) As bones grow muscles will start to stretch Growth spurts vary Implications: Teach your players stretching Understand players may lack coordination during a growth spurt

13 Players According to Age Players 6-9 years old Players 9-12 years old Players 12 and older

14 Motor Skill Development Fundamental Movement Phase 5-7 year olds Specialized Movement Phase Transitional Phase 7-10 years old Application years olds Lifelong Utilization 14 and up

15 Motor Skill Development (5-7) Fundamental Movement Phase Balance Movement in Different Directions Learning to Manipulate Object

16 Motor Skill Development (5-7) Implications for Coaches Fun games that get players moving in different ways Freeway Maze Body Part Dribbling Ball Retrieval I Can Do This, Can You?

17 Motor Skill Development (7-10) Transitional Phase Players can combine and apply fundamental movements skills Specialized skills Actively discovering new movements Coaches: Allow for a broader range of skills

18 Cognitive Development 5-9 Years Old Concrete Operational Stage Thinking is connected to an object ME-Ball to ME/YOU-Ball Implications: Work on 1v1 and 2v2; smaller numbers

19 Psychosocial Development 5-9 years old Self-esteem is very important Effort = Ability Implication for Coach: Praise often Keep practice fun and engaging

20 Summary of 5-9 Year Olds Physical Range of sizes No muscle differentiation No differences in genders Motor Skill 5-7 Fundamental phase 7-10 Transitional Phase Cognitive Concrete Operational Psychosocial Effort=Ability Maximize self-esteem

21 Physical Development 9-12 Variations in growth spurts Girls 9-13 Boys Weight gains Not defined chronologically

22 Motor Skill Development 9-12 Transitional Phase 7-10 Application Phase Children choose to be soccer players Display proper form, accuracy and skill Coaches: Increase awareness of technique Perfect practice=perfect performance

23 Cognitive Development 9-12 Formal Operational Stage Aware of others Recognize results of actions Identify determinants of success Can apply feedback

24 Cognitive Development 9-12 Coaches Get players moving in groups of 2 or more Increase decision making opportunities Create a solid foundation of basic skills How do to things under pressure Activities that are fun, but challenging

25 Psychosocial Development 9-12 Social comparison begins Impacts self-esteem Impacts perceptions of success Negative and positive self-evaluation Begin to separate ability and effort

26 Psychosocial Development 9-12 Implications for the coach: Keep activities task oriented: Focus on individual improvement Get children to start to take responsibility for ball, water etc Use activities to develop leadership and the children s voice

27 Summary of 9-12 Years Old Physical Variation in growth Weight Gains Cognitive Reflect on themselves View/evaluate others Motor Skill Increased sophistication in movement Refinement of skills Psychosocially Comparison effects: Self-esteem Self-evaluation

28 Physical Development Similar to previous ages Start to see increase in strengths Muscles begin to differentiate Coaches: Stretching routine Fitness with a ball and without

29 Motor Skill Development Lifelong Utilization Stage Age 14 Children begin to reach potential in terms of coordination and performance of skilled movements Factors such a time, money, coaching, equipment and physical and mental limitations affect this stage

30 Motor Skill Development Coaches Can you correct poor technique? Can you place them in an environment that builds repetition without sacrificing fun?

31 Cognitive Development Children see the bigger game Understand movement off the ball Can think steps ahead of the ball

32 Psychosocial Development Aware of social environment and place in it Seeking identity Critical of themselves Effort and ability differentiated Limitations on current ability Ego oriented and Task oriented Definitions of Success

33 Overview of Task/Ego Orientation Low Ego High Ego Low Task Will not play. Enjoy playing when they win. Quit if not able to win. High Task Enjoy playing, but not into competition. Enjoy playing, but seek to compete.

34 Questions to Consider Do players understand what I am saying? How much information can they process? How do comments effect players differently? How will my behavior impact the players?

35 General Training Considerations Physical: Does it involve speed, balance flexibility? Technical: Does it stretch their comfort on the ball? Tactical: Does it involve decision making? Am I able to involve as many players as possible?

36 Reasons for Withdrawal Ten year retrospective study on competitive youth sport in Canada found that elite competitors listed their main reasons for withdrawal as too much pressure to perform well, injury, needing time for studying, and the coach. Butcher et al (2003)

37 Final Note As a coach our actions can shape and mold a player s experiences and love for the game. We can create great players and we can cultivate responsible and respectful young adults.

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